We have timely news to share from our friends at Anne Arundel County’s Cultural Resources Section, as they launch a new opportunity to explore the Civil Rights Era. This project is part of their commitment to increasing access to research tools and resources that support the preservation of local African American heritage and history. Learn more below!
In celebration of Black History Month, Anne Arundel County’s Cultural Resources Section is excited to unveil a new virtual tour that explores the Civil Rights Era in Anne Arundel County, MD.
This online story map features more than 50 oral history interviews collected from residents across the County, and is presented as a tour of local places, people, and everyday experiences during a time of segregation. It documents spaces of leisure and recreation, where people of color could gather and enjoy solidarity and empowerment; places like stores, ballfields, beaches, juke joints, movie theaters, beauty salons, and barber shops.
The project began in 2017 with funding from the National Park Service’s Civil Rights Grants Program. A team of historians from Anne Arundel County in partnership with the non-profit Lost Towns Project, Inc worked with citizens who generously shared memories of what life was like during segregation, and uncovered their compelling stories of injustice, resistance, and sacrifice, perseverance and triumph. Lyndra Marshall (née Pratt) was the lead historian on the
project, supported by Dr. John Kille.
The project has also resulted in a ground-breaking partnership between Anne Arundel County and the Maryland State Archives. The Archives has established a dedicated Special Collection where the full length oral history footage and transcriptions are to be housed in perpetuity. These often under-represented voices are now publicly accessible as a part of the State’s permanent archival record. Oral histories are an important sources of first-hand information that will
provide an opportunity for students, teachers, and residents to earn about and appreciate the experience of local African-American communities and their legacy.
To view the virtual tour and experience local history through the eyes and stories of those who lived it, visit www.aacounty.org/Civil-Rights-Era.